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Income Tax Return: What are the alternatives to Form 16 that can be used while filing ITR?
June, 13th 2024

July 31, 2024, is the deadline for submitting Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for the Assessment Year (AY) 2024–2025. Before submitting their ITRs, salaried employees wait to receive Form 16 from their employers. Pay information, Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) that the employer has deposited, and other data needed to correctly file the ITR are all included in Form 16.

Although Form 16 simplifies the procedure, it is not required when completing your ITR. There are various alternatives to Form 16 including

Form 26AS

In India, Form 26AS is a necessary document for filing income taxes. It serves as a comprehensive overview of your tax status for a particular fiscal year, much like a consolidated tax credit statement. The information it provides is broken down as follows:

  • Tax deducted at source: It shows the amount of tax withheld from your pay, interest, and profits by many organizations, including banks and employers.
  • Advance tax: List all of the advance tax payments you have made, whether they came from self-assessment or direct payment.
  • High-value transactions: Reports on specific financial transactions you completed throughout the year are referred to as high-value transactions.
  • Tax refunds: Lists all of the tax refunds you were given by the Department of Income Tax.
  • Other tax-related details: Additional tax-related information on mutual funds, outstanding tax assessments, and overseas remittances are also mentioned.

By reviewing Form 26AS, you can:

  • Verify tax deductions: Ensure that the TDS deducted by various parties is accurately deposited with the government.
  • Reconcile income: Match the income reported in the form with your income sources to get a complete picture.
  • Prepare ITR accurately: Use the information to accurately file your oncome tax return.

Overall, Form 26AS is a valuable tool for taxpayers in India, providing transparency and simplifying the tax filing process.

Annual Information Statement

In India, the Annual Information Statement (AIS) is a crucial document for filing income taxes. An extensive overview of your financial transactions reported by multiple institutions over the course of the year is provided by the AIS. This includes income from investments, sales and purchases of stocks, mutual funds, bank deposits (interest received), overseas remittances, and other sources.

You can also report any inconsistencies in the data displayed by using the AIS. It shows the adjusted value in addition to the reported value (provided by the institutions). Although the AIS has a wealth of information, your income tax return is not directly prepared using it.

Tax Information Summary

The Tax Information Summary (TIS), part of the AIS, is a valuable tool for filing your ITR in India. An overall summary of your income, including dividends, interest, and salary, is provided by the TIS. It shows the value that you approved in addition to the processed value (after deduplication). The main purpose of this form is to accurately pre-fill your ITR with income information based on data from different institutions and your comments regarding the AIS.

Salary slips

Salary slips could be useful in reconstructing your income information, particularly if you lack a Form 16 or are awaiting one from your employer. The following details are usually included on salary slips for a given pay period (month):

  • Gross salary: The total amount of money received before any deductions.
  • Allowances: An explanation of the different types of benefits received, such as conveyance allowance, dearness allowance, house rent allowance, and so forth. These allowances are subject to specific taxation regulations.
  • Deductions: Information regarding salary deductions, including Provident Fund (PF), Employee Provident Fund (EPF) (for private businesses), Professional Tax, and Tax Deducted at Source, is provided in this section.
  • Net salary, also known as take-home salary: This is the total amount that is credited to your bank account following all deductions.

Investment proofs

Investment proofs are essential records for filing claims for deductions on specific investments made according to specific provisions of the Income Tax Act of India. Your taxable income is decreased as a result of these deductions, which lowers your tax obligation.

The following describes the operation of investment proofs:

  • Types of investments with deductions: Investments made in life insurance premiums, EPF, unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs), public provident funds (PPF), national pension systems (NPS), mutual funds, equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS), and other instruments are eligible for tax breaks from the government.
  • Making deduction claim: You must provide proof of investment to the Income Tax Department when filing your ITR, or to your employer in the case of salary tax deductions, to benefit from the tax advantages connected with these investments.

Bank statements 

In India, you must have a bank statement to claim interest deductions when filing your ITR. The interest earned on savings accounts, fixed deposits (FDs), and other bank deposits is displayed on bank statements. The computation of the total interest income earned during the fiscal year is based on these statements. Some banks deduct TDS if interest income reaches a specific level. When you file your ITR, you can claim the amount of TDS that was deducted as a tax credit. It will appear on your bank statement.

Home loan documents

A comprehensive analysis of the interest paid on your home loan over the course of the year can be found in your home loan records. To claim a deduction under Income Tax Act Section 24(b), you must have this information. The principal amount repaid on your home loan might also be included in these documents. Although the principal repayment is not immediately deductible, under certain conditions it may be allowed as a deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

The concept is straightforward: While having Form 16 is beneficial, it may not always be essential. Although Form 16 streamlines the process, it's not obligatory. Simply gather and organize the required documents for filing your ITR. By being proactive, you can smoothly and efficiently file your returns, even without having received Form 16 yet.


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